Access to affordable medical care is increasingly more important during a health pandemic. One of the bills passed by Congress in response to the coronavirus pandemic increases Medicaid funding for states. The bill also includes a provision preventing states that accept the additional money from terminating eligible Medicaid benefits while the current coronavirus pandemic continues.
Medicaid Benefits During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Secretary of Health and Human Services declared a nationwide public health emergency for COVID-19. However, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act stipulates that if you enrolled in Medicaid by March 18, 2020, the state cannot terminate your benefits even if there is a change in your circumstances that would normally cause your benefits to be stopped. The law states your Medicaid coverage must continue through the end of the month in which the Secretary declares that the public emergency has ended. The only exceptions to this non-termination rule would be if you choose to terminate your benefits yourself, you move to another state, or pass away.
What if my benefits were terminated?
States that already terminated a Medicaid recipient’s benefits should be contacting recipients and encouraging them to re-enroll. If the state determined that you were “presumptively eligible” for benefits before March 18, 2020, this rule does not apply to you, and the state may terminate your benefits if it eventually concludes you are not eligible for benefits. However, if you have coverage because you are appealing a decision of ineligibility that was made before March 18, 2020, the state cannot terminate your benefits during the health emergency.
If you have questions about Medicaid eligibility and benefit termination during this health emergency, contact us immediately!